Otoe County Museum of Memories

3 66 Poplar St.
Syracuse, NE 68446
Phone: (402) 269-2355
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Office Hours:
May to September,
Sundays: 1:30-4PM,
or by appointment.
Contact Information:
Co Presidents:
Judy Moore and Janet Zeiger
Secretary: Lael Spaeth
Treasurer:  Rose Garey
PHONES:  402-269-2298, 402-269-3480, or 402-269-3350
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The Otoe County Museum of Memories consists of three buildings at 366 Poplar Street. A variety of historical attractions are available at the museum. The Otoe County Museum Society was organized Nov. 9, 1972. The main building is the former First Lutheran Church, which was dedicated Nov. 20, 1881. The church, built for $1,500, was a daughter church of First Lutheran Church, North Branch, near Avoca.
Today, the downstairs rooms in the parsonage display vintage furnishings in the kitchen and parlors. Upstairs is an old-fashioned bedroom. The Thomas Edison room exhibits the beginning of movies, electric lights, the phonograph and many other things. The Otoe County room has the desk and sofa that were used by the Otoe County Commissioners for many years. A map on the wall shows every landowner in Otoe County in 1870.
The church has been created into five display rooms: an old-time butcher shop, a carriage room with sleigh, a country store made from cottonwood logs, a loom room which also includes a section of the 1912 Syracuse switchboard from the telephone office, and a doctor's office.
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A special project started in 1979, under the direction of Robert Manley, was "Buggy Whips, Flivvers and Threshing Crews." It involved recording local history on tapes. There are more than 70 tapes available to be checked out for listening, as well as DVDs or MP3s to be checked out for listening or copying.
The museum volunteers filmed a video on the history Syracuse. A year of research went into the video, released in 1997. In 2006, the museum volunteers updated the list of graduates to include 1996-2005 in the Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Public Schools history, "Keeping a Roof Over Their Heads." The video on VHS videocassettes or digital video discs, the school book and the Syracuse Centennial book, "For the Record," are available through the museum. (1)
Otoe County Museum Publications
Here is a listing of the historical publications we currently have in stock.  *Donations are accepted for either book.  Please contact the museum staff for further information.
1.  "For the Record - A Centennial History of Syracuse, Nebraska" (Syracuse's history from 1871 to 1971). Includes many names from throughout the area.
2.  "Keeping A Roof Over Their Heads" (History and names from the Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Public Schools ).
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If you are interested in purchasing one of these publications, please call or write the museum for exact shipping & handling costs.
Otoe County Museum Resources
Here is a listing of the genealogical publications and audio tapes we currently have on site for research:
Membership is from 1 January - 31 December.  Dues are:
Individual - $10.00
Institution - $10.00
*Members receive one free research query per calendar year .
If interested, please complete the enclosed membership form and mail it with your payment to:
Otoe County Museum of Memories
366 Poplar Street
Syracuse, NE 68446
If you have any questions regarding membership into the society, please feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at anytime and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
If you need a copy of an obituary or news event from the Syracuse Journal Democrat for one of your ancestors, or from any of the other numerous publications we have on hand, this can be done by a member of our society.  We request a $5.00 donation for the volunteer's time, postage, and photocopying costs for each query submitted.
*Members receive one free research query per calendar year.

If you'd like to have a search done, please fill out the query form with all of the pertinent information regarding your request.  If the volunteer has any questions regarding your request, they will contact you beforehand.